By Patrick Christiano
February 10, 2013: Bunnicula, a clever new musical for children of all ages by the legendary actor/playwright Charles Busch, opened at the DR2 Theatre in the heart of Union Square. With music by Sam Davis and adorable lyrics by Drama Desk nominee Mark Waldrop the show is billed as "A Rabbit tale of musical mystery" and is presented by DR2 Kids Theatre (Daryl Roth Producer) and Theatreworks USA, the nation’s leading not-for-profit professional theatre for young audiences. Based on the award winning children’s book series by Deborah and James Howe the show directed by longtime Busch collaborator Carl Andress is a zany briskly moving 65 minute delight.
On a dark and stormy night, the Monroe family brings home an orphaned rabbit they found in a movie theatre while watching a vampire film. The family dog Howard and their cat Chester are at first enchanted by the white furry creature with eyes that occasionally beam red. However, when all of the vegetables in the house mysterious turn white, Chester immediately assumes the worst that the rabbit, newly named Bunnicula, is a vampire draining the vegetables of their vibrant color. Could this cuddly new member of the family really be the cause? Well Chester is certain, and he is determined to prove the rabbit is indeed a vampire bunny, while the entire family including Howard believes otherwise.
The outstanding cast features Abe Goldfarb as Mr. Monroe, Erin Maguire as Mrs. Monroe, Ashley Campana as Debbie, John Garry as Toby, Prescott Seymour as Chester (the cat) and Robert Anthony Jones as Harold (the dog). They all give full throttle stylishly silly performances that never let the energy drop. The evening in their hands is a laugh a minute and will keep you smiling throughout.
The show has terrific production values as well with musical direction by James Cunningham, scenic design by Rob Odorisio (Skippyjon Jones), costume design by Lortel Award winner Gregory Gale (The Voysey Inheritance), lighting design by Kirk Bookman (The Divine Sister) and orchestrations by Greg Pliska (War Horse). Choreography is by Connor Gallagher.
The new musical is a continuation of "Rabbit Season" which features celebrated live stage productions for families at Off-Broadway’s DR2 Theatre, located at 103 East 15th Street.
The season kicked off last fall with an acclaimed ten-week production of the new stage play based on the beloved children’s tale The Velveteen Rabbit.
BUNNICULA plays a limited ten-week engagement through Sunday, April 14. 2013 Show times are Saturday and Sunday at 1PM and 4PM. For tickets call 212-239-6200 or online at www.telecharge.com
Photos Jeremy Daniel
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